Hi, I would just like to know if Sandy Bridge is seriously worth the additional $100-$200 as opposed to just getting a last gen i5 480M? I ask because most of my daily tasks are just simple college homework assignments, CAD, some gaming (Bad Company 2, Modern Warfare 2), and watching HD movies. So is Sandy Bridge overkill or is it actually worth the money?
Generally speaking, Sandy Bridge CPUs have about on average a 10% clock for clock performance boost over the previous generation. That average is for a mixture of different apps, not just games. This based on a review that I am pretty sure I've read from either Anandtech or Xbitlabs.
Is that extra 10% average worth the additional $100 - $200? That's up to you to decide.
Depends on which SB you are referring too. The SB laptop quad i7s are truly beasts and will blow and last generation i5 or i7 laptop chip out of the water. They will even beat several of the last generation i7 desktop chips
We think that the 2nd generation Intel® Core™ processors give a bit more than 10% over the 1st generation Intel Core processors at the same speed, but in the end it really comes down to what you are going to be doing with the processor. If you are going to gaming or run some higher end applications on the laptop then you may want to focus on a newer 2nd generation Intel Core processor but if you are going to be doing a lot of office work then the price difference may make a bigger difference. You can see the difference between a couple processors here http://ark.intel.com/Compare.aspx?ids=52219,52229,43544,.